I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers for creating this supportive community.
I entered the conservatory at Longwood Gardens a little early for my shift. I wanted to see the blue poppies, on display for about two weeks in March. I could tell from the direction most of the visitors were heading that the display this year was along the wall near the outside lily pad ponds.
I picked my way through photographers with elaborate tripod setups, stepped over camera buffs sprawled on the ground, and joined the many other garden enthusiasts who, like me, were snapping photos with our cameras.
Is it the incredible sky blue color that makes these flowers such a draw? Perhaps it is that they are not often seen outside their native habitat in the high elevations of the Himalayan Mountains. Or maybe it’s because they were at one time considered a myth. Whatever the reason, people are drawn to their beauty.
My volunteer work at Longwood isn’t always confined to the Children’s Garden. Last year a woman with a small easel and a bag of artist’s supplies approached me. She asked where she could find the blue poppies, but by that time the display was over. She explained that she had been ill and unable to make it out earlier, but that she looked forward to painting the flowers every year. She looked so disappointed. I wasn’t sure what to do until I remembered that I had some photos on my phone. I offered to send them to her, and she was most grateful. Now I make sure to snap a few pictures every year…just in case.